Wyoming Liberty Group
Next month (May 12 and 13) the Joint Judiciary Interim Committee will meet in Rawlins in the first of three meetings between the 2014 and 2015 legislative sessions. One of the topics they will address is drones, more technically known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aerial systems (UAS). I appreciate the committee taking this up, since bills addressing law enforcement use of drones were introduced in our legislature in both this past session and the 2013 session.
Last month, Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael filed an excellent gun rights brief with the United States Supreme Court. Since the AG filed the brief on February 12, just after the beginning of the 2014 Budget Session, I regretfully did not notice it. (From a quick search, it does not appear local media picked up on it, either, although the Associated Press put out an article that Fox News published.)
The latest issue of the Wyoming Law Review, the legal publication of the University of Wyoming College of Law, features our article “Publius Was Not a PAC: Reconciling Anonymous Political Speech, the First Amendment, and Campaign Finance Disclosure.” The article is now available on the Law Review’s website.
When the Environmental Protection Agency decided to go after Andy Johnson, they probably did not believe they were throwing a rock at a hornet’s nest. Since the story broke last week that the EPA is threatening Johnson, a welder who lives with his family on an 8-acre plot near Fort Bridger, with $75,000 a day in fines for constructing a pond on his property that is supplied by a small creek, the uproar has gone nationwide. As Johnson points out, if his pond—a pristine home to wild fish and source of clean water for his horses—is in any way a hazard to the environment, what isn’t?
Now that marijuana is legal in Colorado under state law for not only medicinal but recreational use by people over 21, a new industry is taking off. As reported earlier this week by the Denver Post,
“Commercial real estate tracker Xceligent Inc. estimates that marijuana cultivation and manufacturing facilities in [Denver] occupy about 4.5 million square feet — the equivalent of 78 football fields.”
Today the United States Supreme Court decided the case Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, ruling with an 8-1 majority that abandoned railroad easements under the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 do not necessarily transfer to the government upon abandonment but instead to the landowner.
So begins a friend-of-the-court (amici) brief from our friends at the Cato Institute and P.J. O’Rourke—“America’s leading political satirist”—in the case Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, which is pending at the United States Supreme Court. The case is a challenge to an Ohio law that punishes false campaign speech, and the brief hilariously illustrates the pitfalls of such laws. Specifically, the brief utilizes O’Rourke’s legendary wit to show how easily political satire can be censored under the threat of a bureaucrat labeling it “false” speech: